Attendance was up this year at ICSC Centerbuild, the end-of-the-year retail and design conference held in Phoenix. After two years of declining attendance and pessimistic moods, the crowd was bigger and more enthusiastic about their prospects. In the conference keynote, Bill Taubman said consumers are back and shopping for apparel, not just one-time purchases of electronics. Sales numbers from October, November and “Black Friday” support his thesis, and indeed after the conference, retailers across the country had excellent holiday seasons. On the floor of the conference, retailers and developers talked about moving projects forward, and designers and contractors all shared news of being busy throughout the last two quarters of 2010. In fact, I would have had trouble finding anyone who did not feel good about predictions for next year, and that was a welcome change from the previous two Centerbuild conferences.